City of Goodyear, Arizona
Public Information Office
For Immediate Release: March 4, 2008
Reds’ executive to visit Valley again
Talks continue for a second Goodyear Spring Training team
GOODYEAR, AZ – A Cincinnati Reds executive will visit Goodyear city officials Wednesday and Thursday to work through details for relocating the team’s spring training operation to Arizona. The clock runs out next week for Goodyear to figure out how to fund the $32 million cost of building new spring training facilities for the Reds.
For the second time in as many weeks, former Reds’ Chief Operating Officer John Allen will meet with Goodyear Mayor Jim Cavanaugh and other area leaders. Goodyear city councilmembers will meet in closed session Thursday afternoon to deal with issues regarding a second team’s spring training facilities.
In late January, Goodyear and the Reds signed an exclusivity agreement that expires April 11. As part of that agreement, the city has until the middle of next week (March 13) to identify funding sources to cover the cost of bringing the Reds to Arizona.
Goodyear’s new $75 million ballpark, which will be finished in time for the Cleveland Indians to begin Spring Training 2009, has space enough for a clubhouse and training facilities for the Reds. Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority will reimburse Goodyear $34.5 million of the cost of the ballpark and facilities for the Indians.
Goodyear is the only Arizona location the Reds are considering for their spring training base. The Cactus League has many appealing features, but is not without competition. The Reds began searching for a new spring training home when Sarasota defeated a measure late last year to update the Florida spring training facilities used by the Reds since 1998. After Goodyear and the Reds signed the exclusivity agreement, Sarasota officials reconsidered and agreed to fund more than $17 million in renovations – if the Reds stay in Florida. The team has options, and Goodyear hopes to seal the deal before the exclusivity agreement expires next month.
Arizona is now the spring training home of 14 Cactus League teams – nearly half of all Major League Baseball outfits. Officials estimate that Cactus League spring training activities have a $300 million impact on the state’s overall economy. That translates to an economic infusion per spring training team of more than $25 million.